Many people think the days of the family farm have gone by the wayside, replaced by large corporate owned ventures that take advantage of economy of scales - but for Dale and Evan Hardy of Grenfell nothing could be farther from the truth.
The Hardy family farm - Hardy Seeds Ltd - has been going strong for over 80 years, and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
"The farm was started in the 1920's by my great-grandfather Bert Hardy," explained 28 year-old Dale
"Growing up the partnership was my dad (Allen), Uncle Brian and Uncle Calvin. As Evan and I got older and were ready to join the business, it was decided our family would continue to run the seed business and Uncle Brian and Calvin split off and continued to farm together."
So, in 2005, after Evan followed Dale's footsteps and finished studying Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan, the two took over Hardy Seeds with their father Allen.
"Running the farm with family is a bonus, mainly because we've worked together for our whole lives so we are all familiar with each other. There's an element of trust with family that is very important to me," said Dale.
"It means a lot because this company has always been a family owned and operated business and hasn't had any outside investment," added Evan, who turned 25 at the beginning of the year.
"I think it's great that we are doing the same things that my Dad and Granddad did as well."
Winter usually offers farmers on the prairies at least a few months of down time, but not when you have a seed business to run.
"An average day in the winter would be going to the seed plant and running the cleaning plant all day, as well as often hauling grain to the elevator to be sold," explained Dale.
And it only gets busier as the months go on. The trio farms over 6,000 acres, selling their wheat, barley, oats, peas and flax as certified seed to farmers across both Saskatchewan and Manitoba; their canola and barley crops are sold through the Viterra and Paterson terminals.
"Once spring comes of course there is seeding to be preparing for. Evan handles the seeding, which usually lasts for most of May, while Dad and I run the yard and distribute seed to farmers who buy it and come pick it up," continued Dale.
"In the summer we in-crop spray as needed and prepare equipment for harvest - then in the fall we harvest out crops," added Evan.
While both the younger Hardys enjoy running the family farm, they admit that it isn't always easy.
"Sometimes my inexperience comes into play and that can make for some mistakes," admitted Evan.
"But that's why it's great to have Dad and Uncle Brian and Calvin around."
For Dale, the hardest part is dealing with the unruly prairie weather, as well as keeping up with the business side of the farm.
"The hardest part of running our own farm is probably trying to keep up with the constant changes in the business, like new marketing strategies and the fact equipment is always improving at the rate of every other technology," he said.
There are other challenges to face as well, the economic crisis taking place world-wide is lowering grain prices, and the family is finding it more and more difficult to find hired help, with many workers from the area feeling the pull from the oil rigs.
Regardless of the challenges, they two see nothing but positive things in the future for Hardy Seeds.
"The farm is definitely upsizing, and our operations will continue to healthily grow to where it remains profitable. Margins are narrower these days, so you have to produce more to make more," predicted Evan.
Despite the constant hard and often stressful work, both agree that there is nowhere else they would rather be.
"Nothing beats reaping the rewards of your own hard work, being your own boss, and seeing the benefits of it all," Dale explained.